“I really want to be out in the streets but I also need to care for my family.”
Are you feeling that tension too?
I’ve heard that from many of the white people I work with recently.
It can take courage to even NAME that tension, especially if you’re someone who’s cared about and been paying attention to racial equity since before the most recent round of police killings of Black people. You’ve been preparing for this moment.
You might be telling yourself: “I have so much privilege, I shouldn’t be focused at all on myself, I should just be putting all my energy towards supporting the movement right now.”
Remember that this moment is arriving after decades and centuries of organizing and effort led by People of Color.
Your contributions matter, and you’re positioned to act in ways that are unique to you, to the people you know, the knowledge you have, and skills you bring.
At the same time, you’re part of a multi-generational long-term project.
Don’t rush through the feelings of urgency. Allow yourself a few breaths to feel the sensations in your body.
What would you put your attention on right now if you knew that what you do both matters and is part of a much vaster story?
Ask yourself, “If I only need to figure out my very next step, what do I want to do next?”
It might be opening up an email you got earlier that lists action steps you can take this week.
It might be calling a friend who also cares about social justice, and brainstorming ideas.
It might be taking a nap.
It might be turning off your phone and walking in a local park for an hour.
Experiment with trusting that if you keep asking yourself what your next step is, you’ll be taking care of yourself and your values in the best way that you can right now.
And you’ll be doing your part in the larger historical unfolding that began before you and will continue after you.
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A couple offerings this month:
If you or someone you know is engaged in movement work right now and could use some extra support to stay resourced, I’d be glad to help you. I’m offering free 30 minute “What should I be putting my attention on?” support sessions for folks doing social justice work. It’s a standalone session, not part of any kind of promotion or lead in to another offering. Sign up here.
I’m also offering online group systemic constellations to support those organizing, advocating, and supporting in some way the Movement for Black Lives. This is open for People of Color and white people. Rather than charging a fee for this, I’m asking participants to donate what feels right to them directly to an organization supporting the Movement for Black Lives. Email me if you’d like more information about this.